Cord Blood Banking Uses and Costs
Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle
If you are an expectant parent, you know that there are many choices facing you over the next few months, and you only want what is best for your baby.
One choice that is becoming very common in recent years is banking your baby’s cord blood. If you are considering making the decision to bank your baby’s cord blood, it is important to know all of the details.
Cord blood is what remains in the vessels of the placenta and the portion of the umbilical cord still attached to it after birth. Cord blood collection happens after the umbilical cord has been cut, usually within ten minutes of giving birth. The health care provider draws the blood from the placental end of the umbilical cord. The placenta may also be sent to the stem cell laboratory where it will be processed for additional stem cells. After collection, the cord blood is sent to the lab for processing and preservation in cryogenic tanks. The methods of preservation vary between different companies. Some store as a whole unit and others store in several units, so that if there is a need by a family member, a small sample can thawed and tested without risk of it ruining the entire unit.
According to StemCyte, a leading cord blood bank, “to date, more than 80 diseases have been successfully treated with stem cells.” What is even more exciting is that stem cell research holds promise for the treatment of:
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Heart Disease
- Liver Disease
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Spinal Cord Injury
Currently, scientists have found ways to develop cord blood stem cell therapies to treat diseases, including:
- Sickle cell anemia
- Immune deficiency disease
- Click here for a list of diseases currently treated.
Although all parents hope that their child(ren) never develop these types of diseases, there is still a possibility that they may. And there is no better way to treat and possibly cure some of these diseases than that child’s own stem cells. If this is your second child and you are only now discovering cord blood banking, you should know that siblings have a good chance of being a match for each other and cord blood stem cells also have a much higher rate of compatibility than bone marrow does, which can be a very painful procedure, not something you want to subject a young child to.
At this point, you are probably wondering what cord blood banking might cost. Good News: It is much more reasonable than you might think and there are several different options to consider.
There are both private and public banking options. Public banks run on a donation system and typically they are not reserved for the child who donates them, they are used for an individual who is a match that needs them or for research. There may be a collection fee, but certain hospitals will collect cord blood that is being donated at no cost to you.
For private banks, you will pay an initial collection fee and then a storage fee each year until the child is 18, at which point you can choose to donate them to research or pay to continue to store them.
Stemcyte was Shannon’s choice for cord blood banking for both Rocco and Sterling and they offer several different options of no interest payment plans. If you are paying in one payment, the cost is $1500 for cord blood banking or $2295 for cord blood and the cord lining. For more information on pricing visit Stemcyte’s payment calculator. Note: prices are subject to change.
This could be an answer for more than one child, though it is not a guarantee. There is never a guarantee in stem cell matching. Many people find their stem cell match from the stem cell banks available (to possibly save someone else’s life, visit bethematch.org), which match people regardless of family orientation.